New report foreshadows a whole bunch of exciting upgrades for Apple's iPhone SE 4

New report foreshadows a whole bunch of exciting upgrades for Apple's iPhone SE 4
Because Apple is a lot more unpredictable when it comes to iPhone SE upgrades than new releases in its high-end iPhone line and even iPad and iPad Pro revisions, rumors and reports on the company's next budget-friendly handset have varied wildly over the last year or so in terms of both capabilities and launch timing.

Initially expected out as early as this year with an iPhone XR-inspired design by a number of tipsters and so-called insiders, the fourth-gen iPhone SE gradually slipped further and further down the road in many recent (and semi-recent) forecasts that also seem to point to a more modern look with increasing confidence.

The latest such prediction comes from an anonymous source cited by MacRumors that basically has no idea when Apple might be planning to unveil the iPhone SE 4 despite allegedly knowing a lot of stuff about the company's intentions for the phone's features and external appearance.

So many major improvements in the pipeline here

If this source is correct (which is obviously a big "if" right now), the next-gen iPhone SE will strongly resemble the "vanilla" iPhone 14 after all rather than take its design cues from the much older (and arguably uglier) iPhone XR, as was rumored most recently... earlier this very week.

Of course, this is not the first time an iPhone 14-cloning theory is bandied about the interwebs, and in fact, this latest MacRumors report looks awfully similar to what we heard from a Twitter tipster last month. That may or may not be a coincidence, but what we can say for sure is that this particular set of predictions and educated guesses is slowly gaining traction.

We're talking among others about an iPhone 14-"derived" OLED panel likely to replace the rather modest LCD screen on 2022's iPhone SE 3, cutting-edge Face ID technology in lieu of an "outdated" Touch ID fingerprint scanner, an obligatory USB Type-C port, and perhaps most excitingly, a handy Action button borrowed from the brand-new iPhone 15 Pro and 15 Pro Max.

That last upgrade still seems unlikely to us given that the "regular" iPhone 15 and 15 Plus, which arguably come with a fancier overall design than the iPhone 14 and 14 Plus, lack the fancy button, potentially giving the iPhone SE 4 a totally unexpected and highly unusual advantage in the convenience and functionality departments.

Then again, the fourth-gen iPhone SE is also expected to accommodate a single 48MP camera on its back, which would represent an important improvement over the 12MP rear-facing shooter of its predecessor but not quite match the power and versatility of the iPhone 15's dual 48 + 12MP camera system.

The "when" of the equation is still a big question mark

Let's be frank here, no one seems to know what Apple's plan is for the iPhone SE 4 launch. There's even a possibility that the device will never commercially materialize, although we highly doubt that will ultimately prove to be the case.

In that scenario, the company is reportedly using the handset merely as an internal testing platform for an in-house 5G modem that we know Apple has been working on for a number of years now, never quite getting it right and constantly falling back on its longstanding Qualcomm partnership.

But there is word from the inside that the Cupertino-based tech giant is considering multiple (slightly) different designs, with active development of "at least five" of them going on as we speak, which strongly suggests that Apple is aiming to sell the iPhone SE 4 to actual consumers... sooner or later.

Whether or not said Apple-made 5G modem will find its way inside the final version of the fourth-generation iPhone SE obviously remains to be seen... as does everything else about the device if you think about it. But at least we know Apple has considerably more ambitious plans for it (allegedly) than replicating the five year-old iPhone XR aesthetic, which makes this undeniably painful wait a little more bearable.
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